Chicago and many other cities in Illinois are experiencing the same health care worker shortage that exists across the United States. This lack of qualified health care professionals, particularly nurses, is of significant concern in Chicago, where health care is the largest employment sector and where several large health care facilities rank as top employers.
SouthMetroEd is a partnership of colleges and universities sharing resources to enhance educational opportunities in the Chicago southland. Executive Director Genevieve Boesen haspointed out that Chicago has become a health care mecca, adding that the city is home to five or six very large research hospitals. Boesen shared that the hospitals in the area are in a staffing crisis and are anxious to partner with schools to help the region increase its capacity to train health care workers. In addition to nursing, there are several other career fields that initiatives are targeting.
"Imaging programs are in very high demand as far as marketplace is concerned, "Boesen stated. This field includes X-ray technologists and radiologists on an entry level, but requires staff trained in more specific areas such as polysomnography, which deals with using imaging technology to help study sleep disorders.
Boesen also pointed out that hospitals and health care centers hire nearly all types of employees, from as artists and musicians to work with therapy programs, to attorneys, insurance specialists, human resources staff, and maintenance workers. "Any IT technology is huge at hospitals," she added.